Score: Women’s rugby has sisterly bond



By Carol Seiler

The UK women’s rugby team is a real sisterhood that has “rucked, mauled, pillaged and burned,” as their pregame chant goes, its way to its best season record in two years, at 4-1. This has earned the team the right to compete in the playoff game against Ashland University in Ohio on Saturday.

“We have had a great season and it shows in our record,” junior two-year player Elizabeth Ducker said. She described one of the reasons that the team is so successful this season was because of its passion for the game of rugby.

There are 30 women on the rugby team, and 12 of them are rookies.

“Our rookies are good and really athletic,” senior captain Jackie Hammond said. She added that the team this season compared to previous seasons is “more committed and has an intensity that they’ve never had before.”

Thirty passionate, committed, athletic and intense women have come together to “work well as a team” that is “definitely going to win the playoff game,” said senior two-year player Elizabeth Rebmann.

The women will have the opportunity, if they win the playoff game, to play in the championship game on Nov. 19 against the winner of Marshall University and Ohio Northern University.

“We’re winning it all,” said senior four-year rugby player Ali Yunker. “We have the talent, the drive and the passion.”

After the conclusion of the championship game, win or lose, the women can apply to their regional conference, the Ohio Rugby Union, to go from a Division III to a Division II team for next season.

“The goal for the season has been to win as many games possible and move up to being a Division II team,” said first-year head coach and former UK rugby player Mary Bosserman.

The team is prepared to be a Division II team for next season because, as coach Stephanie Febles said, “this team is mentally above a Division III team and are currently at the mental level of a Division II team.” She  described this season as having the best emotional team she’s ever coached with a  high level of emotional intensity.

The UK rugby women are excited about the possibility of moving up a division for next season.

“It will be awesome and more of a challenge for next season,” freshman Kate Field said.

Moving up a division would be “pretty awesome, because when you move up a division it means more to the school and the team gets more appreciation,” sophomore Daniele Mucker said. “This really helps out our team mentally.”

Rugby is a full-contact sport that has continuous 40-minute halves with no timeouts. It can be best compared to having the grace of soccer, the speed of track and the power of football. These women play this physical and brutal sport because “once you play, you can’t quit,” as senior three-year player Heather Posey said. “It’s in your blood.”

“We’re just a club sport, but we take it seriously, because there’s not too many opportunities for women to play rugby after college,” she said.

The UK women’s rugby team is a dedicated group of women that are “pretty much unstoppable,” coach and former UK player, Stephanie Kunz said. “We are a very welcoming team and are always recruiting new players.”

She extended an invitation to anyone who wants to join in this sisterhood that’s making big strides.

Saturday’s game starts at 3 p.m.